The style for a birdcage elevator dates back to the turn of the 20th century. Many buildings at this time were designed with ornate metal elevators, referred to as birdcage elevators, which were operated manually. Birdcage elevators at the time were designed as square or rounded cars, but the actual “birdcage” feature came from being able to look out of the elevator car at the surroundings. Vintage birdcage designs for an elevator mobility system aren’t obsolete, however, as many consumers look for an antique elevator to match the look at the feel of their home or business. Although they can be seen in many older commercial buildings, it’s still possible to find a vintage elevator for sale, as they are still custom-manufactured by request. Both modern homes and commercial structures, such as hotels or small office buildings, can have a birdcage elevator installed to accentuate the interior.

Each custom birdcage elevator we create starts with an ornate metal frame, which is usually made from steel. But as the elevator design is customized, other metals may be used upon request by the customer if they’re looking for a particular style of antique elevator. The metal, especially if it’s steel, is then coated with a high-quality finish. The finish can give the metal a darker or brighter color, depending upon the customer’s preference. Although the design of the elevator resembles a birdcage, safety is crucial, so for proper enclosure, glass panels are used in the elevator car as well. The hoistway, or shaft, is made of glass, too, giving passengers the full birdcage experience while riding in this type of panoramic elevator.

The machinery used in elevators for homes and small commercial buildings generally comes in four different types, and the types typically used for a birdcage elevator are both cable-driven. A cable-driven elevator may either be traction-driven or use an overhead winding drum. Both of these elevator types operate with a suspended cab and a counterweight to move between floors. Neither style requires a machine room for installation, and a traction elevator also doesn’t require oil or a large amount of electricity to operate, making it a more eco-friendly choice.

Birdcage elevators give homes and commercial buildings a classic and old-fashioned appearance while still being modern. In addition, they allow passengers a panoramic view of your home or business when moving between floors. Creating a custom birdcage elevator is as simple as contacting Artisan Elevators to discuss the design, antique style, and size possibilities for your home or small building. Contact us for more information on how to buy a vintage elevator for sale or customize your own birdcage elevator to complement your home or commercial environment.